Sunday, April 30, 2006

Good Idea, Bad Idea?

Brunswick, Georgia is doing away with dilapidated structures within the city limits. There were over 100 homes that the City is going to be pushing towards demolition, and possibly 500 in need of 'serious repair' and risking teardown if that repair is not acheived soon enough, according to this article.

My question involves property rights and eminent domain vs. neighborhood rights and city rights. Some of these structures (I see them every day) are beyond repair. Often, no one lives in them, and the owner does not take care of the property. The City did a good thing, in my opinion, in reducing the time an owner can respond to a City complaint from 6 months (6 months!!??!!) to 90 days, especially because many owners would simply not respond, and the red tape allowed the Old City to disintegrate for years. I also don't think the properties are being siezed by the City, the stuctures are just being torn down; the owner now owns an empty corner lot in many cases.

I guess what I'm wonderin' is where we draw the lines? Where do property owners' rights end and become the concerns of the neighborhood and City?

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